This was an unexpected place to spend a wedding night — sleeping on the floor of a restaurant on a mountaintop.
Canadian newlyweds Brennen McConnell and Jacklyn Locking, of Kelowna, British Columbia tied the knot on Aug. 8 in Canmore, CTV News reported. They were on Sulphur Mountain and had taken the Banff Gondola to the summit to have wedding photographs taken, according to The Canadian Press.
“We’d planned this for pretty much a year,” Jaclyn Locking McConnell told CTV News. “We’re going to take the gondola up, do some sunset photos, and go back down to the campsite and do some campfire photos.”
But as the couple returned to the gondola, they learned it was unable to operate because of a power outage in the Banff area, according to The Canadian Press.
They were among 300 people who were stranded on top of the mountain in a restaurant, the news outlet reported.
Pala Kovacs, who took the couple’s wedding photographs, said approximately 100 guests took a helicopter ride down from the mountain, according to The Canadian Press. Others were given the option to hike down the mountain, but the newlyweds were not dressed for it — and at 2 a.m., they wanted to avoid encounters with wild animals, particularly bears.
“It had been storming, there was lightning all over the place, plus it’s dark,” Jacklyn McConnell said. “It’s pitch black and you’ve got bears everywhere. A lot of us were not comfortable walking down.”
“I couldn’t hike down if I wanted to,” Kovacs told the news outlet. “I had a suitcase full of photography gear and all my lighting and stuff, so we waited until the morning and we got helicoptered down.
“They were pretty efficient about it, we just had to wait until daylight.”
A spokesperson for Pursuit, which runs the gondola, told The Canadian Press that they have stringent procedures in place for an incident like a power outage.
“But we will always look for ways to enhance our guest communications response,” Tanya Otis said in an email.
The McConnells opted to stay at the restaurant overnight and took a helicopter the next day. It was definitely an interesting way to begin married life.
“We slept on the floor,” the bride told The Canadian Press. “My husband slept in his suit on the floor. I slept in my wedding dress on the floor.
“It was almost like sleeping in an airport.”
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